Life After Technics SL1200 Mk5

Hi All,

i am starting the hunt for a new turntable and what to hear from past owners of Technics TT's.

My first real turntable was a Luxman PD272 with a Shure V15 Type IV cartridge, both of which I wore out. Given it was my formative years, I loved that set-up. I acquired my Technics 1200 Mk5 about ten years ago after a long journey down the digital fork in the road. 

Due to some technical furniture issues and WAF, I had to set the TT aside, again. I have rolled through various digital gear and currently use a PS Audio PWT and Theta ProBasic III R2R ladder DAC.

Anyway...I set up the Technics again with an AT150 MLX cartridge and....lo and behold...the digital setup, while not possessing that vinyl sound, does sound better than the SL1200 and AT150.

I did not want to believe this, so I reinstalled the cartridge and realigned the table. Same resort. Basically, the sound is a bit tilted to the treble, the bass is a bit thin compared to my digital gear, and the overall sound seems lean.I have fiddled with cartridge tracking and tonearm balance with no improvement.

So what is next? Is it I do not like the AT cartridge? Has my digital gear outgrown my TT?

That is why I want to learn about the experiences of those of you that moved to a different turntable from Technics. What Technics table did you have and what cartridge? What new turntable and cartridge replaced your Technics setup? How did the sound improve? I would appreciate any and all advice!

Thanks for listening,


Well I'm on your same boat, my Technics 1210 mk5 is for sale, I understand the new Technics 1200G with the new tonearm, platform plinth etc it is an audiophile class product, in the meantime I got a highly regarded Luxman pd-444 on which I will use a few different tonearms and cartridges.
My digital bested my Technics too.

Oh be ready to get recommendations for direct drive and belt and then be immersed in that debate of which is better

Or the one that analog is always better than digital

Sharks are coming, they smelled the blood

dsper my apologies I wasn't very helpful
I have your same TT and used it for some years. Then went on digital rig build. I learned about reconstruction filters, modulators, formats etc and build a digital rig.
Roon and HQplayer embedded running on one server sending audio to a minimalistic industrial PC with USB, SATA and other systems disabled, no fan, celeron CPU for less EMI, connected to a Denafrips Terminator and then to my tube preamp and amps. Software has been a rotation of Audiolinux, Gentooplayer, Euphony and so on. The electrical pieces were powered by an Uptone JS2 soon coming a Paul Hynes SR4 double regulated.
Needless to say my digital sounds amazing so I got the itch to better the analog because I believe analog can be magical.
Came to the analog forums and here you will find many helpful individuals, brilliant some of them, others with a lot experience.With them I learned that I knew nothing, I just had a Technics turntable using a standard cartridge with the Stevenson alignment but without all the parameters to be properly set. There is so much more to analog that I did not know.
I don't know how knowledgeable you are with analog but I did not know ANYTHING and I'm learning. Right now I can't help much except that I know it takes a lot of time invested (and some money too) to learn how to implement a proper analog rig but it is an exciting prospect, at least to me. VTA, VTF, Stevenson, Baerwald, Logfren, MM, MC, LOMC it is an avalanche or physical parameters which to me makes it even more interesting, how we have been listening and perfecting music playing with physical parameters not bits it is really remarkable and the work of artisans.
Anyway I'm still on this path I hope I can report back my findings with my comparisons in a month or two.
Good luck
Hi luisma1,

I appreciate your thoughts!

I was a fanboy for Technics back in the day, but since the SL1200 I have changed out speakers, amps, preamps, transports, and DACs.

Just seems to be a fair ask at this point in my system evolution to consider what an upgrade in turntable (and cartridge) could look like. My 1000 plus albums are waiting...


My old pair of Technics SL1210 mk2 (heavily upgraded) is still here since 1995. Still perfectly working.

Technics SP-10 mkII is what you need, this is what I bought for my High-End setup when I was bored with upgraded SL1210 mkII.

My next one was Luxman PD-444 and this is the best turntable in the world in my opinion :)

Denon DP-80 is another option.

I have them all (in multiple samples).

Just stay with DIRECT DRIVE!

The best upgrade you can do for your old Technics after full rewire is a top quality perfecty matched MM cartridge and a phono stage. Your AT is OK, did you ever change tonearm internal wires? This is a weak point of all old Technics, you have to rewire it. Also there are much better cartridges than AT MLX series.